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Through the tough years, some Knights fans kept asking ‘when?’ Some questioned ‘if?’
For me, the time is now.
The Newcastle Knights have done so much over the last three years since Nathan Brown took over. We got ourselves out of that horrible debt, our debt was so bad, even Kanye West in 2016 was richer than us.
Wests took over and put us in a financial stability, we got the right staff in all stations and best of all, we’re the community team once again. Now we take a look a multiple facts.
1. Nathan Brown: Finals or bust
You read that properly, finals or bust. With the fact he’s under a performance-based contract, Knights must make the finals for not just the fans sake but his own. There’s no excuses should we have a full squad with little to no injuries with plenty of current and future rep football players.
This year they got themselves a sizeable depth to the point no one will be forced to play out of position due to injuries. Everything is going on track and after all the struggles the club went through, we’re going to tear a new one in the competition this year.
3. The difference
From our horror 2016 campaign, only eight players remain:
Mitchell Barnett – 2 games for the Raiders and 21 years old
Lachlan Fitzgibbon – 1 game and 22 years old
Josh King – debut and 21 years old
Danny Levi – 7 games and 20 years old (2 tries)
Sione Mata’utia – 29 games and 19 years old (10 tries)
Nathan Ross – 6 games and 27 years old (2 tries)
Daniel Saifiti – debut and 19 years old
Jacob Saifiti – debut and 19 years old
Total games: 45 – 5.62 average
Total tries: 14 – 1.75 average
That’s the list of players from the 2016 season who still remain with the Newcastle Knights and they stuck around and with that said, they got three more years of experience with football. So now if we catch up to the times;
Mitchell Barnett – 56 games and 24 years old (8 tries)
Lachlan Fitzgibbon – 41 game and 25 years old (18 tries)
Josh King – 40 games and 23 years old (0 tries)
Danny Levi – 66 games and 23 years old (5 tries)
Sione Mata’utia – 90 games and 22 years old (25 tries)
Nathan Ross – 60 games and 30 years old (23 tries)
Daniel Saifiti – 64 games and 22 years old (6 tries)
Jacob Saifiti – 47 games and 22 years old (3 tries)
Total games: 464 – 58 average
Total tries: 88 – 8 average
What a difference.
From those players who entered 2016 with overall of 45 games to now 464, that’s impressive plus from 14 total tries to 88.
As the years gone on, they have become better players not just for their own benefit but the club as well.
Out of the 2019 signings, each of them stand out in their own way but the true pinnacle is of course David Klemmer. Many have dubbed him as the next Paul Harragon but he’s not. David Klemmer is the first David Klemmer. You don’t create a legacy by building off someone else’s.
Now with 67 days left until the season begins (hurry up Goddammit), the Knights look ready to take charge. How far do I think they’ll get?
Top eight? Bet every bone in your body on it.
Top four? Outside chance but maybe not as far as betting your bones.
Grand final? Long odds but perhaps.
I’m not saying we won’t win it but I believe we got some work left to do before we will win our third. It could happen this year and if it does, I’ll do a nudie run down Turton Road painted in red and blue.
Roarers, how do you think the Knights will do?